The conflict between Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and challenger Charlie Crist is popping vicious — with the Democrat’s controversial selection of running mate solely cranking up the ugliness.
On Saturday, Crist tapped Karla Hernandez-Mats, the top of the Miami-Dade lecturers union and vp of the American Federation of Teachers, to run alongside him as a candidate for lieutenant governor.
The selection alerts Crist’s intent to focus on training coverage — a key culture-war battlefront in the Sunshine State — in his underdog marketing campaign to unseat DeSantis.
The Republican has drawn each reward and criticism for a number of fractious training initiatives — together with a ban on dialogue of sexual orientation and gender identification in kindergarten by the third grade.
Arguing that public colleges ought to emphasize training moderately than indoctrination, DeSantis additionally has prohibited the educating of critical-race concept to Florida college students.
Hernandez-Mats — a detailed ally of AFT chief Randi Weingarten – has been a vocal critic of DeSantis’s training stances and vowed to assist Crist topple his administration.
“Are you tired of the culture wars and the extremists that are dictating what we can and cannot say and do?” the previous middle-school instructor requested at a press convention saying her bid for office.
Hernandez-Mats additionally vehemently opposed DeSantis’s push to reopen colleges amid COVID-19 worries, even driving a hearse to a board meeting to warn of its potential penalties.
Her critics wasted no time in assailing her as a progressive extremist with a passion for Fidel Castro.
A cell digital billboard popped up in Hialeah over the weekend that flashed her image alongside a hammer and sickle and a tweet she posted in 2019 after the Cuban strongman’s passing.
“A political figure dies at 80. Most in Miami rejoice, many in Cuba mourn,” her put up learn.
Christina Pushaw, who’s dealing with DeSantis’s media “rapid response” crew, referred to Crist’s new companion as “Karla Marx” on Twitter.
Pushaw and others additionally rapidly famous her ties to Wendell Nibbs, a Miami instructor and influential union determine who pled responsible to sexual exercise with a baby in 2020.
Hernandez-Mats returned hearth on that time, arguing that Florida Republicans must be involved with Congressman Matt Gaetz, who’s dealing with a federal probe involving sex-trafficking allegations.
DeSantis warned his backers to brace for a contentious marketing campaign over the weekend.
“Buckle up,” he mentioned at a rally. “Put on the full armor of God. Take a stand against the Left’s schemes, and we will win.”